Sudan’s Al-Bashir defies ICC again, heads to China

Sudan’s Al-Bashir defies ICC again, heads to China

Monday, August 31, 2015 7:21 am

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

Defying the International Criminal Court arrest warrants once again,  Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will travel Monday to the Chinese capital Beijing on an official four-day visit to China, according to Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman.

“The president will leave Monday for China on a four-day visit to attend China’s celebrations of victory over fascism,” Ali Al-Saddiq, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, told reporters Sunday.

“Official talks between the two countries’ presidents will be held during the visit on bilateral ties and how to boost them.”

Sudan Minister of Transport and Roads Makkawi Mohammed Ahmed on Sunday told reporters that al-Bashir would witness during the visit a signing of a contract between the Sudanese government and a Chinese company to build a new railway line in eastern Sudan that extends for 1,000 kilometers and at cost of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars.

Al-Bashir would also witness the signing of a contract for purchasing two planes and 9 river transport ships besides leasing 3 MA-16 Chinese-made planes, he noted.

The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Bashir in 2009 and 2010, accusing him of masterminding genocide and other atrocities in his campaign to crush a revolt in the western Darfur region.

Members of the ICC are obliged to act on arrest warrants. China is not a member.

Bashir, who rejects the court’s authority, has managed to travel within Africa and the Middle East.

In June, he was forced to flee South Africa, however, after a court ruled he should be banned from leaving pending the outcome of a hearing on his possible arrest.

Sudan’s foreign ministry said Bashir would visit China for a commemoration of the end of World War II.
Bashir, who has ruled Sudan since a 1989 Islamist and army-backed coup, has not travelled outside the Middle East or Africa since 2011, when he also visited China.

He is due to travel to New York in September for the United Nations General Assembly, Sudan’s deputy U.N. envoy said earlier this month.

*With agency reports

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